Carroll County Times Opinion

Chris Roemer: The hypocrisy of Bernie Sanders | COMMENTARY

Apparently, there are socialists who like to live well. They may rail against the privileges others enjoy at the expense of the proletariat, but they have no problem enjoying those privileges themselves. The old school Soviet leaders come to mind. They lived in luxury, spouting Marxist platitudes and calling each other comrade, while average Soviet citizens spent much of their time standing in bread lines.

Brezhnev, Andropov and now, Bernie Sanders.


Like any self-respecting socialist, Senator Sanders, who prefers to be called a “Democratic Socialist,” is a millionaire. He owns three homes, one a townhouse in Washington a few blocks from the Capitol, one in Burlington in his home state of Vermont, and another in the Green Mountain State on the shores of Lake Champlain. He made a few million dollars in royalties from the sale of his book, “Our Revolution,” an interesting name for a book that made its Socialist author a wealthy man.

I guess when Sanders complains about “income inequality” he’s talking about other people.


A new book by Edward-Issac Dovere, “Battle for the Soul: Inside the Democrats’ Campaigns to Defeat Trump,” details some other “inequalities” to which the junior senator from Vermont became accustomed during his last run for president. While Sanders felt a little self-conscience accessing flights via private terminals, he really did enjoyed flying on chartered aircraft. His taste for that kind of travel became so refined, in fact, he ended up having very specific demands about the type of aircraft he found acceptable.

He also had very specific requirements when it came to his hotel accommodations. Run-of-the-mill hotel rooms wouldn’t do. He had to have a suite, and that suite had to have a king-sized bed, and that king-sized bed had to have a down comforter with an extra blanket that he preferred be blue. It went without saying his rooms always had to be away from ice-machines and elevators. Socialists need it quiet, you know.

Oh, and the room had to be kept very cool. As Dovere explained in his book, “The temperature in the room had to be kept at 60, even if that required having a staffer sit in the room with an open window in the winter to make sure it cooled enough or calling management in to override the system.”

The senator reportedly once required the thermostat be replaced in his hotel room because he could not get the temperature below 65. Look, everyone knows being able to determine the exact temperature of one’s hotel room is a basic human right.

Of course, flying on private aircraft and having cold hotel rooms will cause one’s carbon footprint to be a bit higher than that of the average American worker, but Senator Sanders is part of the ruling elite so certain concessions have to be made.

To be honest, I don’t care how Senator Sanders travels or the accommodations he has when he gets where he’s going. I think all of us would love to have the ability to avoid commercial airlines, to choose the particular type of aircraft we find acceptable and to dictate our hotel preferences down to the color of the blankets in our room. This is America and if you earn enough money to demand these things, more power to you. But my guess is, Senator Sanders didn’t pay for any of it. These were campaign expenses, so the “little people” donating to his campaign paid the bills.

I don’t like most of the policies advocated by Senator Sanders, but what really irks me is Sanders lives this way, demanding things that are out of reach for most people while constantly attacking other wealthy Americans and the economic system from which he has benefited so abundantly.

Maybe relative to other U.S. senators, Bernie Sanders isn’t very wealthy. Indeed, Utah’s Mitt Romney and Virginia’s Mark Warner both have net worths north of $200 million. The fact is, just about every senator is a millionaire, but relative to most Americans, Senator Sanders is pretty well off. If he’s not in the top 1%, he’s certainly in the top 10%. I don’t begrudge the senator’s desire to live comfortably in his golden years. I think that’s what most Americans work all their lives to be able to do, but I would have a heck of a lot more respect for the man, and a much greater capacity to tolerate his socialist claptrap, if his lifestyle more closely matched his rhetoric.


He bemoans the rich while flying around on private jets and living the kind of lifestyle most people will never know.

There’s just something off-putting about a person who lives so well while all the while complaining about other people doing the same.